In a first-ever exclusive pre-budget meeting with information technology (IT) executives, finance minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the sector’s role is very crucial to promote e-governance and boost manufacturing in the country.
The meeting was attended by senior industry executives, including Infosys CEO Vishal Sikka, Wipro CEO Suresh Senapathy, HCL Technologies CEO Anil Chanana, TCS executive vice-president Phiroz Vandrevala, Nasscom president R Chandrashekhar, Flipkart CEO Sachin Bansal and Snapdeal CEO Kunal Bahl, among others.
Jaitley said the government is keen to leverage the inherent strength of the IT sector.
Some of the suggestions made by representatives of the IT industry, included tax incentives for building infrastructure for data centers and cloud services to ensure data security, as well as to have a big network of large software products’ companies within the country. More budgetary assistance for digital literacy, which would help in ensuring success for the country’s flagship “Digital India” programme, was also demaned.
The other demands, included promoting innovations by allowing angel funding, stable tax regime, direct tax benefits for the sector, tax benefits for cashless transactions, resolving issues relating to double taxation on software products, transfer pricing and duty drawback. Suggestions were also made for clarity in service tax between domestic and overseas e-commerce vendors and export proceed realisation.
Jaitley said large-scale production in the IT sector at competitive prices in India for the global market will create gainful employment and will help the country reap demographic dividend, increase purchasing power and expand markets.